NEW YORK, NY.- Madison Square Park Conservancy
announced its thirty-fifth exhibition, Whiteout by artist Erwin Redl. The project features a luminous white carpet of LED lights across Madison Square Park's central Oval Lawn, on view from November 16, 2017 through March 25, 2018.
Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project by artist Erwin Redl (Austrian, b. 1963, lives and works in Ohio and New York City) is comprised of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a discrete, white LED light and suspended from a square grid of steel poles and cabling. The orbs are opportunistic, gently swaying with the wind currents from their positions of one foot above the ground plane. Redl created a computer-generated undulating wave pattern across the work, slowly forming from north to south and south to north. The sequence of light is an incandescent treatment of urban public space across the dark seasons of the late fall and winter.
The use of white in modern and contemporary sculpture is notable. Louise Nevelson, Charles Ray, David Smith, and Cy Twombly have all created in white, often as a unifying formal element. In Whiteout, Redl assesses white for its typical association with light, but he pushes the associated imagery through repetition and kinetic movement.
Erwin Redl is best known for creating spectacular light projects on the facades of buildings. He has studied the work of artists in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the late 1960s including Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler, but his materials diverge from their art. His interest is in tiny sequencing of lights, he said in a 2014 interview.
I see myself much more in a
land art context than an artificial, strictly technological context, Redl explained. He cites the Minimalist conceptual artist Fred Sandback, whose yarn drawings in space Redl first saw in 1997, as an inspiration.
Whiteout is the thirty-fifth outdoor exhibition organized by Madison Square Park Conservancy. The project is organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator, Mad. Sq. Art, Julia Friedman, Curatorial Manager, and Tom Reidy, Senior Project Manager.
Erwin Redl was born in Gföhl, Austria in 1963. He studied composition and electronic music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna where he received his BA in 1990 and a Diploma in Electronic Music in 1991. He moved to New York in 1993 and received an MFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in 1995. His work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial where the artist lit the facade of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2010, Redl installed a monumental project across the front of the Wexner Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Redl was awarded a Percent for Art commission in 2014 by the City of New York for the New York Police Academy in Queens. He was tapped as one of four artists nationally to create work for the 2015 Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Redls successful proposal for Spartanburg, South Carolina, a city of 40,000 residents, opened in fall 2016.